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THE ESTABLISHMENT OF ISLAM       19
was opposed by the imperial troops. Charged by a
Roman phalanx supported by Arabs on either flank, Zayd,
the commander, and his successors were killed one by one,
and only the genius of Khalid saved the defeat from
becoming a disaster. As it was, the losses were heavy.
The Capture of Mecca, A.H. 8 (630).—The defeat at
Muta cannot have shaken the prestige of the Prophet
very severely, since a few months later he crowned his
successful career by suddenly marching on Mecca at the
head of 10,000 men. No resistance was attempted, and
^J^treate^                              vnAw magjaanimity, they
became converts in large numbers. After superintending
the destruction of the idols in the sacred enclosure,
Mohamed gave orders for all private images to be broken.
This was effected without difficulty, and thus without a
single battle the sacred city of Mecca was won and with
it the hegemony of Arabia. This achievement was com-
pleted by the crushing of the Hawazin tribe which
occupied the country to the south-east of Mecca.
The Last Campaign of Mohamedy A.H. 9 (630).—The
campaign of Tebuk was the last undertaken by the Prophet
in person. He heard that the Emperor was organizing
a large force, and with remarkable courage and energy
prepared to meet it. He assembled a powerful army,
said to have numbered 30,000, of which one-third was
cavalry, and marched to Tebuk, to the east of the Gulf of
Akaba. There he learned that there was no truth in the
rumours of invasion, and consequently directed his efforts
to extending and consolidating his power. The Christian
prince of Ayla, at the head of the Gulf of Akaba, sum-
moned to submit and pay tribute, immediately complied,
and with him a treaty was concluded. Duma was captured
by Khalid, and its Christian chief embraced Islam. After
these successes the Prophet returned home with greatly
increased prestige, and when Tayif, the last town to resist
him, surrendered, his power reached its zenith.
The Final Orders of the Prophet.—At the end of A.H. 9
(631) Mohamed promulgated at Mecca by the mouth of
Ali the famous " Release," allowing idolaters four months
in which to embrace Islam, and giving notice that in case